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Balch & Bingham LLP today announced with profound sadness that Tim Ford, partner in the firm's Jackson, Miss., office and former speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives, passed away unexpectedly. He was 63 years old.

Mr. Ford was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1980, and was elected Speaker of the House in 1988. He served as Speaker until his retirement in 2004. Mr. Ford was the first House Speaker in the nation to receive the William M. Bulger Excellence in State Legislation Leadership Award, which is given annually to a leader who has made significant contributions to the performance, strengthening and operation of his or her legislative institution.  

Mr. Ford was the former chairman of the Southern Legislative Conference and the National Speakers Conference. He maintained a close relationship with present and former House Speakers around the country.

Mr. Ford joined Balch & Bingham in 2003, and was a member of the firm’s government affairs, energy, public finance and corporate practice groups.

"Tim was a most trusted adviser, beloved and respected partner, mentor and faithful friend who will be missed deeply by all who knew him," said Alan T. Rogers, Balch & Bingham’s Managing Partner. "He was a leader in the state of Mississippi and in our firm. The impact he made in the lives of so many will not be forgotten."

Notice of arrangements will be shared as soon as they are available.